Tuesday, February 23, 2010

52 Cents Worth of Fame

While visiting last week, Gil had decided to cook up a bonafide, true-blue Cajun Gumbo for our Hostess. The all day process of simmering, adding this ingredient and the other was consuming, and the chef couldn't possibly leave the kitchen.

That's when I was sent on a tiny errand, in conjunction with another task I was about to complete.

"Would you mind running to the grocery, and seeing if they have any okra? Just a small amount, we'll call it the 'token okra'."

I readily agreed, as I had little doubt it couldn't be found in this veritable bread basket of fruits and vegetables they call Southern California.

I entered a nearby Whole Foods store and began my search. In all honesty, I wasn't sure I knew what fresh okra looked like. Not having a taste for it, I completely ignored any cooking of the green in any form.

Looking, looking . . . but also feeling a press for time, I decided to ask for assistance. Turning, I spied the Produce Man across the way.

What? What - or rather, who - did my eyes spy, but Jim Croce, the heart-rendering ballad singer of the 70's!!

I gulped, and approached him gingerly.

"Sir, do you have any okra?"

"No." came his reply. "We don't carry it, I'm sorry."

His face was so warm, and he was genuine in his customer service, so, I extended an attempt:

"Has anyone ever told you that you look like Jim Croce?"

"Eh? ah, no . . . who is Jim Croce?"

Now I was doubly stunned. He was well old enough to know the muse of the famous Hispanic-looking singer.

"Jim Croce. He sang . . ." I paused, looking for the memory of the name of one of his more mainstream songs, rather than the less known ballads I love. "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown?" I ventured.

"Ah." the Produce Man said. I could see in his eyes the comprehension of who Jim Croce was had -no- register with him.

I thanked him, and moved on. On a whim, I decided to try the last bin on the left for okra. BINGO! Found some! I turned, produce bag filled, to find the Produce Man immediately behind me.

He had evidently been intrigued by my comment, and, seeking reason to continue conversation, followed me to the bin. As he was offering condolences again on the missing okra, I educated him on it's existence (so much for his produce skills) and thanked him profusely for his help.

"Once more, miss? The name of the person I look like?"

"Jim Croce." I offered. "Look him up online. You'll find him".

I exited the store with $.52 of okra, and a smile on my heart.

It was a great day to have met Jim Croce.


1 comment:

Cricket said...

LOL- too funny. And further- I have that album. :)

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